How appropriate that this painting, started on a snowy day is finished right around the time that another snow storm is supposed to be headed our way. Continue reading
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Paper, paper, paper – (not to be confused with location, location location)
When beginning to paint in watercolor you might be limited by choices of watercolor supplies available to you, or be overwhelmed by the choices depending on where you shop or live (I’m speaking from experience here).
Early on I got some great advice from a talented watercolor instructor to use the best supplies that I could afford.
I did a great job on my paints and brushes, however, I needed to do some adjusting on my paper. I’m so glad I did!
For my watercolor paper when I first started I went to my local craft supply store and picked up a packet of 140 lb cold pressed watercolor paper. I have tried two different brands over the years just to compare quality.
Paper, paper, paper
If I had to give a tip for watercolor painting it would be choose your paper wisely.
Followed closely by your paints, brushes, etc. I just had to add that. They are so important too in quality. I couldn’t help myself. Sigh.
My all time favorite paper to paint on is Fabriano 300 lb cold pressed. I’ve painted on their 140 and 300 lb. I still prefer the 300 lb the best.
I started a little painting exercise this afternoon on both a store brand 140 lb paper and my favorite 300 lb paper. I used the same paint colors, washes, and method of laying down the paint. I wanted you to see how just using the different quality of paper can change the overall painting. I won’t be finishing the store paper one btw. 🙂
Painting in watercolor is exciting and surprising when the color moves and travels across the paper the way it is supposed to. If you are having trouble or maybe wondering about a painting, take a look at your supplies. Especially your watercolor paper. Maybe you might want to try a new one!
I’m always looking at what other artists are doing and what paints and supplies they use. That’s what sparks the creative juices!
What tip would you give someone starting out in watercolor? Or, if you are just starting, what is something that you are wondering about?
Comment below on the blog, or if you are following me on Facebook, add a comment there!
Thanks for stopping by!
Experimenting, habits and results
Had fun experimenting with this last painting. Learned a few things that I will try again, and also realized that I am tied in many ways to some particular ways of doing things.
For the most part I was able to keep painting with larger brushes in a loose manner. Out of habit I did pick up some small brushes, however, I sort of forced myself to go back to the larger ones as this was an exercise to try new things.
Usually I tape my watercolor paper around the edges to hold it to the board, however, this time I tried something different. I had watched how another watercolor artist taped their paper on the backside in a way to prevent buckling and as a means to paint to the edge of the paper. This worked well, and I may use this on different occasions, depending on the painting.
Since I had been painting on the smaller scale, this painting was painted on a half sheet of watercolor paper to again do something different. What I did not think about prior to painting however, was how I was going to finish it.
Originally, I was thinking of applying the watercolor to a canvas board and then finishing it. I’ll have to leave that for another painting, as this half sheet is 15 x 22 overall, and will not work for either 16×20 or 11×14. These are the things you learn. I’ll keep thinking about options though.
My usual habit of sitting with a painting and mulling over it prevailed. I’m not sure how many times I went back and painted a few layers of colors over different areas in different days. Some days I would be out for a walk and see a certain color in foliage and think, that is the color I need to add in that particular area. Or, I’d walk by the painting and think I need to darken a shadow here or there. I debated things in my head, or out loud to the cats if I’m being honest. 🙂 In the end, you need to decide if you are happy with the journey the painting has taken you and put the brush down and enjoy the results.
Here it is, ready to come off the board.
Happy painting everyone!
Sticking to the plan.
Picking up the paint brushes the last two days I reminded myself to stick with the plan. That being, I reminded myself not to do things I might usually do out of habit and to try new things. Like use big brushes and keep in loose.
This picture shows the layers of colors added and the progress from the last post.
This picture shows more layers of color and additional areas that I’m beginning to start the first wash of colors on. This is where I left off for the day and I will be mulling it over in my head about what colors and what I’ll be adding when I paint next.
Stepping Out Of Comfort Zones
Sometimes we get stuck doing things the same way. That can have pros and cons. While there are certain things that need to be done a certain way to produce the same result each time, there are also times when one can experiment to see what develops. Especially when you want to spark some creative juices.
You might remember me mention the gift of watercolor classes years ago from my husband that reignited my painting. Last week I was thinking about that class and remembering some things. Two things in particular:
- Barbie, the instructor, telling us to paint on a larger scale
- Barbara, a fellow classmate, saying “it’s only paper” when she wouldn’t be especially fond of her project, but would quickly start another painting ready to try new things
I was thinking about this because I was trying to decide what I wanted to paint. I just felt stuck. I thought I knew what I wanted to paint, however, I didn’t want to go about it the same way.
Lately I’ve be painting smaller paintings. I can finish one faster (if I’m not my own worse critic and become a perfectionist about it) and can move on to the next project, as the size allows to have multiple projects started at once.
Usually I spend an hour or so getting a sketch on the paper prior to painting, depending on the size of the painting. I’ve been known to take longer. I also spend time thinking about the colors I want to use and write them down in a notebook so I don’t forget for the painting. If there is a painting that I previously did that I think I might like to use similar colors, I will go back and look at my notes from that painting. All this takes time, and thought.
Soooo, all that being said. I decided to switch it up and let you in on how it’s going.
I decided to paint on a half sheet paper (15×22), hardly sketch at all (spent 5 minutes), tape paper in a different way (back instead of edges) and paint as loosely as possible.
The first wash of color is always the stage that is the ugliest and ackward. You just have to remember this is a work in progress, tell yourself that over and over, and push on.
After it dries and you can add a little more color you start to feel the painting emerge.
Since the painting is at this point, and I’m waiting for it to dry some, I thought I’d post some pictures and let you know what is happening at the Studio. I’ll do my best to keep you posted with pictures along the way.
Thanks for stopping by!
Okoboji Queen Sunset
If you visit the Iowa Great Lakes region you need to experience a sunset at Spirit Lake. The view is particularly nice at Arnolds Park in Okoboji and that is where the Queen II docks for the evening.
I really can’t tire taking in all the beautiful colors of a sunset. They are particularly stunning, and hard to give justice when painting. Yellows, oranges and pinks glow against the water, land and everything else that the last rays of sun touch before it disappears until the next day.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
A special thank you to Chelsie Stettnichs for allowing me to paint this from her photo!
The original for this painting is available along with a limited number of signed prints. You can find them here: DSJonesStudio Etsy Shop
A little sprucing up and reorganizing on the blog and across social media sites was on the agenda the last few days.
I’m pleased to announce the opening of DSJonesStudio Etsy Shop.
Right now there are signed prints available in the shop.
You’ll find the newest series Sweet Smell of Memories – Proverbs 27:9 there. Being in the company of our loved ones, our friends, our besties. Inhaling the sweet smell of a favorite scent…all these bring joy to my heart and can invoke sweet memories. These memories are what inspired the five paintings in the series.
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Proverbs 27:9
I’ll be adding some original paintings to the shop along with the prints, however, I thought I’d give you a sneak peak.
All this computer work, phew! I’m anxious to get back to painting! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
We have been living in our new house for a few months now and are enjoying being settled in.
The front room has turned out to be a great room for my painting studio. The sunlight dances in through the front windows and bounces off my work area and all around the room. It makes for an enjoyable place to paint!
Both Toaster and Ellie (our rescue tabbies) enjoy being there with me. They can be found either sitting on the windowsill, an adjoining chair, on my work area; or if one is feeling feisty trying to steal paint brushes or drinking paint water. Cough, cough, Toaster.
I’ve been busy painting and posting to Instagram and Facebook, but realized I was remiss in updating my blog. My apologies.
So here is our Ellie Bellie that I’ve recently painted in watercolor.
Thanks for stopping by!
Learning in limbo
While waiting to move into our new location, I’ve been trying to take advantage of reading and watching different artists at work.
It is a great way to keep the creative ideas flowing, and also to learn new techniques to try.
I should warn you that it can also lead to a list of supplies you may want to purchase. 🙂
Last month we said our goodbyes to this sweet, funny man, my father-in-law. He managed to retain his humor even as he struggled with Alzheimer’s.
Both paintings were paintings of love and painted from photos taken by my niece Lauren who originally captured Pop’s personality so I could paint it.
We all miss you Pop.